Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing – 8 April 2014

Crisis in Ukraine: Daily Briefing

8 April 2014

1. Situation in Kharkiv

The Kharkiv Oblast Administration building was cleared of the “separatist” group that occupied the building on the night of 6 April in an operation by a Ministry of Internal Affairs unit. Some 70 people were detained.

2. Situation in Donetsk

“Separatist” elements who seized the State Security building in Donetsk freed the building after negotiations. According to reports several boxes of weapons were seized by the groups who occupied the building and according to Donetsk mayor O. Lukyanchenko, only a part have been returned. The Donetsk Oblast State Administration continues to be occupied by the self-proclaimed “national council,” which yesterday declared an independent “Donetsk republic, and is, as of 10:00 PMUkraine time, barricaded in the state administration building.

3. State Security Service: Radical organization holding hostages in Luhansk

The anti-terrorist group of Ukraine’s State Security Service (SBU) reports that a radical “separatist” organization seized and mined the State Security administrative building in Luhansk, and is holding some 60 people hostage. According to SBU, the group is “using methods that are used by terrorists. These actions are extremely dangerous, as they threaten the lives of the people in the building and outside.” According to reports some 500 people with over 1000 weapons are holding the building. The SBU is demanding that the “separatist” organization free the hostages, surrender their weapons and free the building.

4. Turchynov: situation in eastern Ukraine will be normalized

Acting President O. Turchynov stated that the situation in the eastern oblasts of Ukraine will be normalized without delay. Turchynov stated that on Sunday a planned and coordinated “provocation against our country, which was organized by the special forces of the Russian Federation” began. He also underlined the fact that attempted provocations in Dnipropetrovsk and Mykolaiv oblasts have been brought under control.

5. US Secretary of State: Russia behind provocations in eastern Ukraine

US Secretary of State J. Kerry stated that Russian provocateurs and agents were sent to eastern Ukraine to “create chaos…What we see from Russia is an illegal and illegitimate effort to destabilize a sovereign state and create a contrived crisis with paid operatives.” Kerry also stated that the chaos fomented by Russian special forces “could potentially be contrived as a pretext for military intervention just as we saw in Crimea. It is clear that Russian special forces and agents have been the catalyst behind the chaos of the last 24 hours. Some have even been arrested and exposed.”

6. Parliament strengthens penalties for anti-state activity

231 deputies supported new legislation that lengthens criminal sentences for anti-state activities, including threatening the territorial integrity and inviolability of Ukraine, diversion, espionage, and the security of the state. Further the new legislation adds a new provision to the Criminal Code – “interfering in the legal activity of the Armed Forces of Ukraine and other military formations.”

7. NATO Secretary General Calls for “Action Plan”

Speaking in France, NATO Secretary General Rasmussen warned that any Russian move into Eastern Ukraine would represent a serious escalation; “we call on Russia to pull back the tens of thousands of troops it has massed on Ukraine’s borders, engage in a genuine dialogue with the Ukrainian authorities, and respect its international commitments.” The Secretary General also stated that NATO needs a readiness action plan and reinvestments in its defense. “The current crisis poses a serious challenge to our common security. But North America and Europe stand together in facing up to it.”

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